Who needs comfort . . .

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Factory and warehouse employees are less concerned with their immediate workplace comfort compared to other sectors, but what they are interested in is lighting and car parking, according to a survey for Savills by YouGov.

“What Workers Want” reports on the views of 4,570 employees in offices, shops and warehouses and what they rate in terms of building features and employer policies. It reveals that for factory and warehouse workers, lighting is the most highly rated building feature (over 80 per cent of those surveyed thought that lighting was important to very important) and reflects the nature of activities that take place.

Some 78 per cent of respondents travelled to work by car and it is this that is behind the importance placed on car parking.

On the whole, workers would appear to be more accepting of the out-of-town locations of their work places and indeed the lack of nearby amenities, although they do rate proximity to home as what they liked most about their current workplace. This seems to be already defining employer choice as warehouse/factory workers have the shortest commute, averaging just 21 minutes. The out-of-town location normally associated with this sector means that employees tend to be more demanding in terms of on-site facilities compared to those in other sectors; canteens, for example, were rated by 46 per cent of employees as important to very important, higher than reported by office workers.

Marie Hickey of Savills Research, said: “Companies are becoming more concerned with staff retention in this sector and while the building may not be a primary concern for workers, providing better buildings may be an easier and cheaper solution, other than raising salaries, to the challenge of attracting and retaining staff.

The report points out that the introduction of the Rating (Empty Properties) Bill in April 2008 and the impact this may have on speculative development, could mean that developers will need to pay more attention to the requirements of occupiers as the occupier becomes more involved in the design process.

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